Saturday, May 31, 2008

Digging In The Magazine Box: Otari MTR multi-track tape machine

There was a time when recording innovation meant not doing a Google and Rapidshare search for plug-ins and w@rez. Even though 4-track home recording was available in the mid-80's, going into a professional recording studio was something most musicians wanted to do. Those who could afford it bought a machine like this for their home/basement studio. Most recording in the 21st century is done in digital, but some say that analog recording still offers the best results. It's safe to say that you will not see ads like this one in magazines anymore, but analog junkies look at machines like this with pride. Taken from The Rocket.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Digging In The Magazine Box: Seattle Helps The Hungry

There was a time in our history when efforts like this weren't considered corny or an opportunity to boost someone's failing career. This is a brief article showing the making of "Give Just A Little", Seattle's answer to the Band Aid/USA For Africa relief effort. Most of you will no doubt remember the songs "Do They Know It's Christmas" and "We Are The World", but what some may not know (or remember) was that it moved many local and regional music scenes to create their own benefit record to help raise money for food relief in Ethiopia and other African countries. The We Are The World compilation album on Columbia featured Canada's contribution, and there was also Hawai'i For Africa's "The Way Of Love".

When I bought my copy of the Seattle Helps The Hungry 45 at the U-District Tower in Seattle, I clearly remember a number of other benefit 45's, including one from Los Angeles featuring a number of Mexican singers and entertainers, and I want to say that Cheech Marin was on it. I don't have an MP3 of the song with me, but the song was very much in the vein of "We Are The World" in that each singer contributed a line or two and it lead to a chorus by everyone in the group. In this case, there were two versions because of the amount of singers who wanted to help out.

The record also represents what the Seattle music scene was circa 1985, and yet this doesn't even begin to truly represent the diversity Seattle's scene had to offer. Had this record been released five years later, the lineup would have been very different. No Kurdt Vanderhoof here, but you did have Uncle Bansai, Jr. Cadillac, Mondo Vita, and (yes) Rail, all of whom were staples of Seattle's live scene in the early to mid-80's. Even Cindi Reinhart was on the record.

The following scan is taken from The Rocket.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Digging In The Magazine Box: Paul Hardcastle cassingle

There was a time in our history when people used to complain about formats. Vinyl vs. compact disc, 8-tracks vs. reel-to-reel, mini-disc... eh, I don't think too many people debated the merits of an MD (I may be wrong).

There was a time in our history, not so long ago, when record companies wanted to let people know about the great format known as the cassingle. For you new kids, the word "cassingle" is a combination of the words "cassette" and "single", so you would have the contents of a single (for you new kids, that was a 7 inch 45 rpm record, generally with a large center hole that you played on a phonograph/record player/turntable) on a tape. To be honest, before the official format surfaced, I actually made drawings and discographies of songs I would not mind seeing on a new format I created called the "cassingle". At the age of 10 I had no concept of trademarks or patents, otherwise I might have scored big time. When the "cassingle" did surface, I constantly said to myself "I made that".

Some of the first cassingles I saw were titles on IRS Record and one by Devo. But here, in a clipping from Billboard magazine, Chrysalis Records were ready to spread awareness of this new "cassingle" with a song by Paul Hardcastle.

Yes, I did buy this cassingle, and I think I still have it somewhere.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Digging In The Magazine Box: Vitamix-1984 (cassette review)

Awhile back I transcribed an article about hip-hop from the Pacific Northwest circa 1985, featuring Sir Mix-A-Lot and Vitamix. The former would gain attention outside of the area, while Vitamix's glory remained more low-key.

When I moved from Hawai'i in 1984, Vitamix was one of the first names I became familiar with as a representative of rap music in this new place I called home. One could keep track of his tapes and shows by reading The Rocket but unfortunately I never got a chance to hear any of his work.

This is a review that I've kept all of these years, from The Rocket circa 1984 for his 1984 release.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

An update

First off, for those of you who may have had this web page bookmarked and are wondering where are the updates, I'm sorry. I haven't done any thrifting since my last entry, and of course since then gas prices have gone up big time. I know, "a true vinyl junkie doesn't fear rising gas", but as before I go through droughts and eventually come back. I will be thrifting again very soon.

If this is one stop of many trips you make to read my work, then you know that I haven't been dormant. I remain active on the writing front, so for those who don't know about my other writings, here's a list of where you can go to check out my latest efforts:

  • The Run-Off Groove (column)
    Originating at Music For America, that website shut down which made my column homeless. Rather than wait around, I have moved it to a temporary home and you can read it there, literally next door from this place. Some of the news items and videos I've placed in JB's Music has become a part of my column. I have a new column every week "around" Tuesday, so please bookmark it.

  • Book's Music (podcast)
    This is my podcast, a/k/a my digital broadcast, an hour's worth of music from various sources. New, old, classic, stuff I've found while thrifting, it would be great to be able to expand this to something better. Satellite radio, I know you're waiting for me. Until then, my podcasts are free.

  • Crut's MySpace page
    Crut is of course me and my output as an artist. You can listen to old and new music, be updated on the taking-forever-to-complete new album, and occasional foolishness in the bulletins page.

  • FudgeFM
    A brand new website that will make its grand opening very soon, I blog there along with many other gifted writers, artists, producers, and contributors, become a part of the community you've been longing for.

  • Okayplayer Reviews
    This is the music and DVD reviews section at Okayplayer, the official home page for the hip-hop band The Roots. I've been a member of their writing staff for a little over two years and had been an active member in their forum for about nine, but if you like my column, you'll like the work I've done here, along with reviews from the rest of the OKP writing staff.

    For something away from my music:
  • Book's Foodie (food blog)
    Yeah, it's another food blog but it's MY food blog. Updated whenever I can.

    I will be starting a few other blogs very soon, so stay tuned for updates. I'll also be updating JB's Music with some old clippings that for whatever reason I saved. Now it's my time to share.